The Pediatrics Center Pneumonia Information Guide
Pneumonia refers to the infection of the lungs which is very dangerous for children, but prompt medical intervention can help the morbidity and mortality rate associated with the disease. The types of viruses causing pneumonia are influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, adenovirus, and parainfluenza. Bacterial infections can also cause pneumonia. It can be spread from one person to another through coughing or direct contact with the person’s infected saliva or mucus. As contrary to the popular belief that pneumonia can be caused by improper clothing or air temperature, it is more common during fall, winter, and early spring when children spend more time indoors in close contact with other people.
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia include fever, coughing, sweating, chills, fast and labored breathing, wheezing, widening of the nostrils, and bluish tint of the lips or nails. Chest x-ray is needed to determine the extent of lung infection. Avoid giving your child over-the-counter cough suppressants like dextromethorpan because coughing is needed to clear the excessive secretions produced by the lungs, and viral infection does not need any specific treatment other than fever control and rest. It is important to follow the exact dosage of antibiotics prescribed by the pediatrician and never discontinue even if your child feels better to prevent recurrence. It is important to have your child checked by a pediatrician as soon as you are suspecting pneumonia.
If your child shows fever lasting for more than a few days despite antibiotics intake, breathing difficulties, or evidence of other body part infection (swollen joints, neck stiffness, bone pain, and vomiting), you have to check back with the pediatrician immediately. As the popular saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better an ounce of cure.”, so have your child vaccinated against pneumococcal infections. Pneumococcal conjugate or PCV 13 is usually administered at four, six, and twelve to fifteen months. For children at high risk of developing invasive pneumococcal infection such as those with sickle cell anemia, heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, organ transplant, or HIV, they need pneumococcal polysaccharide or PPV23 from 24 to 29 months of age.
You’ll always find trusted and experienced pediatricians in New Jersey, and The Pediatric Center also offers providence childbirth classes for expecting moms. Contact us now for more details! Let us all work together to keep our children safe and healthy, so if you suspect pediatric pneumonia, better consult a pediatrician promptly before it is too late. Always remember that The Pediatric Center is always ready to help parents like you.